Where to Eat, Drink and Shop in South Miami

Downtown South Miami has grown up in recent years. Trying to catch the same lightning in a bottle that defined the Grove in the 1980s, a stroll down Sunset Drive between Red Road and U.S. 1 is enhanced with outdoor cafes, charming boutiques and unpretentious bars. From an Irish pub to a jogger's paradise, here are the top places to grab a memorable meal, a stiff drink or a shopping bag in South Miami.

Updated: January 20, 2010

South Miami Restaurants

Casa Larios Restaurant Inc

5859 SW 73rd St, South Miami, FL 33143

Cuban restaurants are easy to find in Miami, but this one has a little celebrity appeal given that Gloria and Emilio Estefan have a stake in the business. Beyond the island staples, this tropical eatery also puts its stage to good use with live salsa and Cuban music during the weekend.

Town Kitchen & Bar

7301 SW 57th Ct, South Miami, FL 33143

Whether it's the Sunday brunch that invites young families or the more raucous happy hour scene after work, this is the perfect example of a neighborhood joint, tucked a quiet block away from the Sunset Drive pulse.

Trattoria Sole

5894 Sunset Dr, South Miami, FL 33143

Linguine with clams and polenta with mushrooms are just some of the Italian staples served up at this formal eatery. Diners looking for something a little more casual are in luck, since its Blu pizzeria concept is right next door. Both restaurants offer sidewalk seating along the well-traveled Sunset Drive.

South Miami Bars

The Irish Times

5850 Sunset Drive, South Miami, FL 33143

No neighborhood is complete until it gets a throwback pub. This watering hole serves up pints to wash down the forkfuls of Irish standards including shepherd's pie and bangers and mash.

Bougainvillea's Old Florida

7221 SW 58th Ave, South Miami, FL 33143

One of the area's oldest watering holes is this rustic roadhouse. Live music is offered up most nights, and the outdoor patio is as lively as the interior bar when the weather cooperates.

Martini Bar and Concert Hall

5701 Sunset Dr., South Miami, FL 33143

On the outside, this Sunset Place venue seems to be little more than an outdoor eatery with a long bar. Inside, it's a whole new world on the other side of the velvet rope. DJs crank out electronica over a decent-sized dance floor under sultry lighting. This is no Rat Pack martini bar, that's for sure.

Cavas Wine Tasting Room

5829 SW 73rd Ave, Miami, FL 33143

Wine tastings go high tech at this oenophile hangout. Patrons purchase cards to swipe at self-service, climate-controlled wine dispensers with a clear bias toward reds. Tastings can be as cheap as a buck for one-ounce portions of entry-level wines. There are plenty of cozy chairs to soothe tired feet and swiping wrists.

South Miami Shops

Shops of Sunset Place

5701 Sunset Dr Ste 100, South Miami, FL 33143

From a 24-screen AMC theater to three floors of shops and eateries, this outdoor mall is the South Miami people eater. National chains include Forever 21, Hollister, and Lucky Brand Jeans. Entertainment beyond the multiplex can be found at the GameWorks video arcade or the Strike bowling alley.

Foot Works

5724 Sunset Dr. and 5712 Sunset Dr., Miami, FL 33143

Novice and seasoned runners know how to jog to this longstanding retailer, specializing in running, walking and cross-training gear. From New Balance running shoes to Teva walking sandals, this is also where folks training from everything for next week's 5k run to next month's full-fledged marathon come together to run in groups around South Miami.

Capretto Shoes On Sunset

5822 Sunset Dr, South Miami, FL 33143

This footwear shop is fluent in more than just Prada and Jimmy Choo. Handbags and matching accessories are also available, but it really all starts at the bottom with the designer shoes like Miu Miu wedges and cute ballet flates.